By Nicole Curcio
Being a student requires time to attend class, do homework, and study. Additionally, some students need to find time, not only for themselves, but for a significant other. Finding the balance between school and a relationship is something couples learn to work around.
Sophomore business administration major Samantha Mullins balances her schedule with that of her boyfriend, Chris McBride, a senior football player with a major in finance, who will stay for a fith year to complete his master’s. “I definitely have full days,” Mullins said. “I work two jobs, am currently taking 19 credits, and I’m heavily involved on campus.” Mullins is a sister in the Delta Zeta sorority, works for the student run businesses and with the College of Management, recruiting potential business students and mentoring high school students.
McBride’s schedule is also full. “His football schedule is something else. Football does wear the guys out. I try to be as understanding as possible about all that,” Mullins said. Though they are both busy, each of them live on campus, allowing them to make time to see one another during the weekends or nights when they each have less to do. The two are able to help each other academically, providing benefits to spending time together. However, living on campus challenges the relationship due to, “everyone knowing everything about our lives,” according to Mullins. Also, once breaks from school come, the two live 1800 miles apart. After having the opportunity to see one another every day, an adjustment has to be made when Mullins returns to Texas and McBride to New Jersey. “The distance is hard but we make it work. I’m able to fly up to Jersey and he’s been able to come to Texas with me in the past.”
Some students balance long- distance relationships during the school year with heavy workloads and demanding majors. Mary Cate Bottenus, a sophomore dance major, met her significant other, Sean Dillon, on campus in fall 2015. Dillon, who graduated in spring 2016, lives in Staten Island, while Bottenus resides on campus. “My major requires my schedule to be open seven days a week for class and rehearsals,” Bottenus said. Last year, before Dillon graduated, the couple was able to see each other after late-night rehearsals and on weekends. The distance makes it difficult for weekend trips because Bottenus needs to stay on campus Friday through Sunday for rehearsals.
Though the couple is unable to spend time together as often as they’d like, they keep in contact as much as possible through texting and FaceTime calls. “Having class during the day and rehearsals at night makes afternoons the only available time I have to talk to him. Unfortunately, that’s the same time he works.” The two work through it by scheduling weekends in advance that they can visit each other.
Relationships are beneficial factor” to life, Bottenus said, which is why she and Dillon work through the distance. For Mullins and McBride, residing in the same place still requires time apart. “As much as Chris is a priority in my life, he also realizes that by doing all the things [I do], I keep building up my resume which would allow for a better future,” Mullins said.
Life as a student can be difficult to balance, and having a relationship is an added task that needs to be worked into scheduling. If the relationship includes mutual understanding of each other’s academic priorities, then it will likely not jeopardized by the time apart.